Fossil footprints puzzle scientists: Bear or ancient human?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prehistoric footprints that have puzzled scientists since the 1970s are getting a second look: Were they left by extinct animals or by human ancestors?

When famed paleontologist Mary Leakey first uncovered the footprints in Tanzania 40 years ago, the evidence was ambiguous.

Leakey focused her attention instead on other fossil footprints that could be more clearly linked to early humans. Those footprints, found at a site called Laetoli G, are the first clear evidence of early humans walking upright.

Decades later, a new team re-excavated the confusing footprints, found at a site called Laetoli A, and made photos and 3-D scans available for other researchers to continue the debate.

The research was published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

“These footprints have…

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News Source: https://apnews.com/article/science-fossils-animals-bears-bac780ed3c7c87171ed80b3dcd093f0f